We next researched how to process the cypress trees into usable wood. We contacted mills in the Bay Area and found one that would cut the trees to our specified shapes. The contractor compared the price of harvesting the wood from the site versus a more traditional approach of purchasing the wood directly from a lumber supplier. While harvesting the wood was more expensive, the Nueva School was fully supportive of this approach, as it fit their own mission of environmental stewardship.
California has an extensive and sometimes controversial history of logging that continues to this day. At the Nueva School, we demonstrated how this craft can be used responsibly: only cutting down what was necessary and reusing all the trees to the greatest extent possible. When construction began, the sound of saws and the cry of “Timber!” could be heard coming from the jobsite. After being cut down and transported to the mill, the trees were cut into a variety of sizes and stacked for drying. After nine months of drying, the wood was finish-surfaced and shipped back to the site to be installed on our project.